Every month at HumanHuman tons of discoveries are added, but only a handful, are labelled as promising. These artists are agreed upon by our users as ones to watch and are well on their way to becoming the next big thing in music. What you see below, are the top five promising artists, as decided by the HumanHuman community.
Where did September go? As if by magic, the year has flown past and we’re edging ever closer to Q4. The dreaded no-man’s land where christmas songs reign and everyone suddenly likes mulled wine. However, we’re not technically in winter yet. September saw some stunning sun-drenched tunes that soundtrack the hazy, balmy autumnal nights perfectly. This month’s most promising picks span the pop spectrum; from electronic to guitar-driven, upbeat to stripped, indie to synth, purple to dark.
This month’s top pick was added to the site two years ago by yours truly (it’s a fix!!!!!). The Berklee graduate had just featured on a track by VALNTN titled ‘Can’t Let Go’. Her introspective writing style was an instant hook and was accompanied by an ineffably charming vocal delivery. Since then, she has released a sumptuous EP ‘Dreamland’ and, more recently, an entrancing new single ‘flis’. It was this most recent offering that pushed Emilia over into promising territory, despite already having racked up over two million streams on Spotify. The track is filled with hooks, silky synths and a smooth beat that rolls underneath Emilia’s climbing melodies. As Wolf In A Suit wrote, “She is able to traverse through honest, playful and meaningful verses with a natural charm, magic and sensuality that makes each song a hit.” There’s no doubt in my mind that Emilia’s star will continue to rise through the tail-end of this year and into next.
Five months ago buzz-blogger, and all round nice guy, Wonky Sensitive added ELINA to HumanHuman. Although the Stockholm based songwriter has only released two singles, she is no newcomer. Her credits include cuts for Zara Larsson, Astrid S and penning ‘Sexual’ for NEIKED. ‘Wild Enough’ was ELINA’s first offering, an expansive piece of cinematic pop produced by Fredrik Haggstam. It is stripped back, with ELINA’s vocal accompanied by a only by a piano - allowing her narrative led writing to take center stage. Her follow up single ‘Here With You’ was released last month, again focusing on flowing melodies and self-examination. As Amelia Maher wrote for The Line of Best Fit, “gimicks and over-production are completely unnecessary and instead your attention is drawn solely to Elina's words and fragile, octave-leaping vocals.” Clearly ELINA’s poetic style is resonating with listeners, the two tracks combine for over 11 million Spotify streams; an outstanding achievement for an emerging artist.
Melissa at MusicalHeARTBeat provides us with our third pick this month, Brooklyn based artist Chloe Lilac. ‘Stolen Liquor’ was Lilac’s first release of 2018, it saw significant love from publications including HillyDilly and Press Play. The track is now approaching half a million streams on Spotify, a feat matched by Lilac’s stunning new single ‘Summer’. The sun-drenched, hazy production is lo-fi magic - a perfect frame for a raw, emotional vocal performance that draws from Lilac’s personal experience. In her own words, “Summer 2018 was a very pivotal summer for me in my adolescent years. It’s a summer that I’ll never forget, and I felt an overwhelming desire to express it. That, and being a kid in New York City is such a magical reality I live that I’m extremely grateful for. I feel like this song really encompassed those experiences for me.” Her unique nostalgia-tinged pop is boundless and you’re sure to see Lilac in all your favourite playlists very soon.
This month’s fourth most promising pick is Ruthven, a London based artist (and professional fireman) plying his trade via the Paul Institute - a label chock full of talent. He was discovered by Deep Shah only ten months ago. In that short space of time he has racked up 15 agrees with a sound somewhere between R&B, pop and electro. The debut single ‘Evil’ was co-produced by enigmatic beatsmith A.K. Paul; as Pitchfork wrote, “From the gated drums to the wheezing funk chords to the sumptuous vocal harmonies, the song is a pitch-perfect tribute to Prince in his prime, all purple everything.” This sumptuous electronic post-R&B soundscape is elevated on Ruthven’s follow up ‘Hypothalamus’, another perfectly positioned piece of purple-pop; sizzling synths collide with gleaming guitars, industrial drums and glorious vocal melodies. Ruthven is forging his own sonic path, and hopefully he’s here to stay.
Last, but not least, is Kelsey Karter. It’s another appearance from Wonky Sensitive, who discovered the New Zealand-born, Los Angeles-based singer three years ago. Her first two singles ‘Out Of Drugs’ and ‘Too Many Hearts To Break’ received some editorial love from Spotify, combining for around 700,000 Spotify streams. Her early sound edged towards the alt side of alt-pop, with powerful, raw vocals meeting energetic productions. Speaking to i-D Karter noted, “I don’t think I fit into pop music, and I think that’s an asset. Rock ‘n’ roll is a big influence of mine. The music to come is more on the alternative side. We’re calling it blue-eyed rock ‘n’ roll. I don’t think I’m meant to be a pop star: rock is more where I feel like I belong.” It was her new offering ‘God Knows I’ve Tried’ that saw her hit this month’s list; a significant step towards rock, it sees Karter full embrace her influences - full of startlingly searing guitars, brash beat-work and bold melodies. We like this incarnation of Karter’s sound; anthemic, rebellious and unafraid.